Saturday, June 20, 2015

February 24, 1890: Robert and Willie Pope

Today we learn about a South Carolina lynching from The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) dated February 28, 1890:

THEY WERE OBNOXIOUS CITIZENS,

And as a Consequence They Were Put Out of the Way.

CHARLESTON, S. C., February 27.—[Special.]  

A special received here from Varnville, Hampton county, tonight states that Bob Pope and his eleven-year-old son were killed in that county on Monday night by parties in ambush. The two were on their way home from Cummin's mill when they were killed. When the bodies were discovered it was found that Bob Pope's throat had been cut from ear to ear after he had been shot. The special does not say whether the Popes were whites or blacks, but says they were obnoxious citizens and it is supposed their slayers were white men. These are all the details available now.


A bit more detail comes to us by way of The Manning Times (Manning, S. C.) dated March 5, 1890:

A Horror in Hampton,

VARNVILLE, HAMPTON COUNTY, Feb. 26.—The killing of Bob Pope and his little son has caused no little excitement.

The particulars, as far as I can gather up to the present, develop a deed unequalled in the annals of the Police Gazette

Pope's death is not regretted from what I can learn from those who have long known of his character and doings, but the brutal and hideous murder of his little son, ostensibly to hide the crime, is a deed that should justly consign its perpetrators to the most summary punishment. The father was shot with buckshot and afterwards shot through the head with a pistol ball, and his throat cut.

From the indications around the scene of the tragedy the boy was attempting to run off and was pursued and brought back near the body of his dead father and thrown down and his throat cut to the bone. There was no other mark of violence about his person.

The parties to the murder are supposed to be known.


This case was called a lynching by the Chicago Tribune. I also choose to list it as a lynching because it appears to be multiple people taking the law into their own hands. I understand why the papers chose the word murder, since it was a white man but especially because the death of the child. It begs to remember that all lynchings are murders. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder. 

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